An excellent publication of the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA), Working Together for Local Food explains how Canadians are currently using the co-operative model to meet the challenges of producing, processing, marketing, and retailing local food.
In first section, 11 profiles explain how co-operators have resolved crucial problems in the local food sector: producer marketing groups, retail stories, on-line purchasing, and a regional value chain are some examples. The second section deals with retailing in greater detail, explaining how co-operative retailers are integrating local food with their product lines. A final section lists by province the sources of information, funding, and technical assistance available to people interested in using a co-operative to step into the local food sector.
This booklet is in part a response to research complete by the CCA in 2009. The Lay of the Land tracks 2300 local food initiatives in Canada (co-operative and otherwise), categorizes them, and describes their frequency and impact by province. It is an important basis on which to design policy recommendations for provincial and national food policy.